Living with me is a challenge – I am complicated, expensive, very demanding and often highly misunderstood. A myriad of defiant characteristics, I require great effort, constant attention and unwavering patience.

I am diabetes. 

In recent months, the novel corona virus has taken its share of my spotlight, diminishing the sense of urgency and drive to tackle my burdensome nature. Today is the day to remind you, that my presence remains and continues to grow at alarming rates – from the current 463 million, to a staggering projection of 700 million people affected in the next 15 years.

The facts sound terrible, frightening and very distressing. But there is a silver lining.

Just in this past year, scientific advances have brought new strides to managing and dealing with the twists and turns of my diagnosis. Better drugs, clever research, new and impressive technology - the world is well on its way to figuring me out and effectively handling the complexities that ensue in my presence. Let’s take a look at just some of the highlights:

Time to CONCENTRATE

Could a citrus a day keep the endocrinologist away? Scientists from Western University, Canada say, potentially yes, as research points toward nobiletin, a compound found in oranges and tangerines, as a promising gateway toward new possibilities in diabetes management.

Studying nobiletin for over a decade, the team from Western specifically investigated its effects on mice when fed a high fat, high cholesterol diet. They found that mice given nobiletin remained ‘noticeably leaner’ with reduced levels of insulin resistance and blood fats, as compared to mice fed the high fat diet alone.

Though nobiletin’s exact mechanism of action remains unknown, findings pave way to uncover nobiletin’s potential and possible role in metabolic pathways.

NEEDLEss to worry

More often than not, management of diabetes necessitates injectable treatment, namely insulin and GLP-1s. But injections are tricky. Needle-phobia, nervousness and the general burden/inconvenience of injections are commonly reported and attributed to difficulty in adherence to treatment. With needle avoidance, come possible challenges in maintaining glycaemic control, as well as the increased risk of diabetes-related complications. But there is finally a solution. 

In September 2019, GLP-1s in tablet form were approved by the FDA and made available for patients worldwide. This ‘protein in a pill’ is a step in the right direction and obvious fantastic news for any patient fearing injections.

Getting ORGANized

For patients with diabetes, staying in range is a delicate balancing act. A daily roller-coaster of highs and lows that requires constant monitoring and adjustment. Though still a work in progress, solutions for monitoring have notably progressed – from poking your finger multiple times a day, to the now available, artificial pancreas.

Receiving FDA breakthrough designation in 2019, the iLet Bionic Pancreas System is a closed loop device that functions like a real organ. It continuously checks glucose levels in the blood and uses an algorithm to determine whether or not the body needs glucagon to go high, or insulin to go low.

Indeed, major strides have been made in attempt to manage, understand and defeat diabetes. But while science and technology continue to move forward, what remains consistent is the patient experience - where grit, perseverance and a positive mindset are the ultimate fuel to effective self-management and handling of diabetes.

Diagnosed with type 2, brought on by gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, Anthill employee, Neha Sighn reflects on her diagnosis as a “life-changing moment” where she felt “apprehensive, anxious and nervous!

Today, starting her mornings with yoga and walking 10,000 steps per day, Neha lives by example, stating confidently, “Now I am diabetic for five years, and I feel healthier and happier every day of my life.”

 

We at Anthill show our support by taking part in the Global Diabetes Walk 2020 – 10,000 steps to raise diabetes awareness worldwide!

Anthill WDD 2020

Published November 13, 2020